Feeds

Gay-bashing cult plans picket of Steve Jobs funeral

Tweets the news via an iPhone in irony fail

Security for virtualized datacentres

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) have announced their intention to protest at the funeral of Steve Jobs, in a Twitter message sent via an iPhone.

The group, best known for their rainbow "God hates fags" signs and web page, are claiming the action is in response to Jobs not using his wealth to promote their interpretation of the Bible and for Apple being consistently voted one of the most gay-friendly employers. The group’s grievances and its original protest plans were posted from iPhones, something the Twittersphere has been quick to point out.

“We're not against technology; we're against using it to promote what God hates,” said Megan Phelps-Roper, granddaughter of the church’s founder Fred Phelps, before tweeting a picture of the group using their iPhones at a protest.

Westboro Baptist Church

The WBC has built a name for itself by protesting at the funerals of soldiers and those in the public eye, and is seen by many as the unacceptable face of free speech. A Supreme Court ruling this year cleared the group’s protests under free-speech rules, so there is unlikely to be anything the family of Jobs can do to stop the protests.

The group was started by Fred Phelps, a former civil rights activist and lawyer, and consists largely of members of his extended family, with the whole group numbering fewer than 100 members. They claim to have hundreds of protests a year, pushing their belief that America is being punished for allowing the practice of homosexuality – something they believe should be a capital crime.

However, the group isn’t just obsessed with homosexuality. It also maintains GodHatesIslam.com, GodHatesTheMedia.com, PriestsRapeBoys.com, and the all-encompassing GodHatesTheWorld.com web sites. Both Anonymous and The Jester have staged attacks against the group’s web sites, leading to some downtime, but the WBC is understood to be reasonably technically savvy and usually have mirror sites up quickly.

There have also been numerous attempts to physically silence the group, ranging from the passage of the Respect for America's Fallen Heroes Act in 2006, designed to keep them from approaching funerals too closely, while Michael Moore organized the Sodomobile – a bright pink camper van filled with gays and lesbians – to run counter protests.

The group came to San Francisco last year to protest against Twitter, whose services they use daily, and had planned an extensive list of other demonstrations. However, such was the turnout of counter protestors that the group called off many of their proposed action and went home to Topeka, Kansas. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
Facebook's Zuckerberg in EBOLA VIRUS FIGHT: Billionaire battles bug
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contacted as site supremo coughs up
Space exploration is just so lame. NEW APPS are mankind's future
We feel obliged to point out the headline statement is total, utter cobblers
Down-under record: Australian gets $140k for pussy
'Tiffany' closes deal - 'it's more common to offer your wife', says agent
Internet finally ready to replace answering machine cassette tape
It's a simple message and I'm leaving out the whistles and bells
FedEx helps deliver THOUSANDS of spam messages DIRECT to its Blighty customers
Don't worry Wilson, I'll do all the paddling. You just hang on
The iPAD launch BEFORE it happened: SPECULATIVE GUFF ahead of actual event
Nerve-shattering run-up to the pre-planned known event
Win a year’s supply of chocolate (no tech knowledge required)
Over £200 worth of the good stuff up for grabs
STONER SHEEP get the MUNCHIES after feasting on £4k worth of cannabis plants
Baaaaaa! Fanny's Farm's woolly flock is high, maaaaaan
Adorkable overshare of words like photobomb in this year's dictionaries
And hipsters are finally defined as self-loathing. Sort of
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.